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Devon and Cornwall set for more strong winds and Arctic blast

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

  • Lee Banfield makes the most of the weather on his snow board at Haytor on Dartmoor yesterday Picture: Richard Austin

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Arctic blasts are set to bring snow and gale-force winds to the Westcountry today as the cold weather continues.

Swathes of the South West could see up to three inches (8cm) of fresh snow, just two weeks after blizzard-like conditions brought widespread disruption in the region.

Northerly winds were expected to sweep into parts of Devon and Cornwall overnight, with gusts reaching 65mph.

The winds were predicted as being strong enough to bring trees down and cause high-sided vehicles to topple over.

Yesterday wintery showery and strong winds brought snowfall to parts of the region, while huge waves pounded the coastline.

Despite forecasting temperatures of up to seven degrees today, the Met Office warned the severe gales will make it feel "bitterly cold".

The Exeter-based centre issued a severe weather warning for parts of Devon and Cornwall telling people to 'be aware' of the wind.

The warning covers much of the North Devon and North West Cornwall coastline.

Met Office forecaster Robin Thwaytes said there would be a "west/east split" in the weather. He said: "During the morning a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow will come into the west.

"But in the East including Exeter and Torbay it will stay dry and sunny. Most of the showers will die-out by the afternoon.

He said: "The day will have a bitterly cold feel from the Arctic blast. It will feel much colder than the temperatures of five or six degrees.

"The showers on Bodmin Moor, Exmoor and Dartmoor will be snow showers. On the coasts it'll fall as rain, sleet and hail which may give a slight covering that will melt quickly."

Motorists were warned to check road conditions before travelling today, and to consider delaying their journey in severe conditions.

The Highways Agency issued an amber alert for high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and other vehicles who were advised to take care when travelling, due to an "increased risk" of those vehicles being blown over.

A spokesman said: "Drivers are advised to plan for their journey before they set out, checking the forecast and road conditions and to leave extra time if travel conditions are poor, or to consider delaying their journey if the weather becomes severe." Three flood warnings and 11 flood alerts from the Envirnoment Agency remain in place in the South West.

More than a month after severe flooding in the Westcountry, deep standing water has failed to drain away in some parts.

Vast swathes of the Somerset Levels are still buried underwater, while roads remain impassable and farming land unusable.

Up to 5 million cubic litres a day are being moved off the sodden land ever day in one of the biggest-ever pumping operations in Britain.

Less than a fortnight ago 30 people were forced to spend the night in Nether Stowey village hall after they became stranded in their cars on the A39 between Bridgwater and Williton in Somerset.

Hundreds of schools and several main roads were closed three weeks ago when heavy snow and rain brought the region to a halt.

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